Whether it’s for sightseeing, island-hopping or a romantic sunset cruise, the best way to experience Bali is on a boat. There are a variety of options available from the most basic sail catamarans to luxurious private yachts, and everything in between. Bali’s boating industry is booming, and there are many companies to choose from. YachtWorld features Bali boats from a number of manufacturers, including the popular Beneteau and Jeanneau brands.
Bali’s coastline is dotted with beautiful beaches and coves, and the surrounding islands offer stunning snorkelling and diving opportunities. Despite the popularity of these activities, it’s still possible to enjoy them on a budget. You’ll find that accommodation prices drop the further inland you go, and many of these areas receive far fewer international visitors than their urban counterparts. You can also save money by staying at cheap guesthouses, and eating local food at warungs.
If you’re looking for a cheap boat to Lombok or the Gili Islands, the most cost-effective option is a fast boat from Padang Bai in Bali. This is cheaper than a direct flight to Lombok, and the journey is only about five or six hours.
You’ll need to book in advance, and you can do so at a stand or through your hotel. The fast boats usually leave every hour from 09:00 to 16:00, and tickets are typically around 85,000 IDR ($5.50) per person. They’ll take you to Bangsal Harbour in Lombok, where a local boat will be waiting to take you to the Gilis.
The fast boats usually only stop at Gili Trawangan and Gili Air, but some (Eka Jaya) will also stop at Gili Meno if there’s enough demand. They’ll transfer you to a small pier on the other side of Gili Meno, where a local boat will take you to the rest of the island within a few minutes.
It’s always a good idea to book ahead, and you can often buy tickets online. You should also make sure you’ve got a full day up your sleeve in case of delays. We’ve heard stories of slow boats getting stuck in traffic or running out of fuel, and it’d be a shame to miss your connecting flight! rent a boat nusa penida